195: How Did Iowa 80 Become the Ultimate Truck Stop Destination?

During this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett is joined by Heather DeBaillie and Lee Meier of the famous Iowa 80 Truck Stop, the world’s largest truck shop, having been in existence for almost 60 years. In this episode, Heather and Lee discuss Iowa 80’s history since its 1964 inception by Bill Moon and highlight the annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree, which celebrates truckers with events like cookouts and contests. Lee, Bill Moon’s granddaughter, shares her experiences and the features of the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum while the group also talks about Iowa 80’s dedication to the trucking community, its role in preserving trucking heritage, and more. 

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • The significance of Iowa 80 and the Mid-America Truck Show (2:05)
  • Introduction of Heather and Lee and the history of Iowa 80 (3:44)
  • Bill Moon’s vision and contributions to trucking (4:38)
  • Moon’s background and passion for trucking (9:25)
  • The Iowa 80 Truckers Jamboree (12:02)
  • Lee’s experiences growing up at Iowa 80 (14:16)
  • The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum (17:25)
  • Preservation of trucking history at Iowa 80 (22:32)
  • CAT Scale Expansion (25:44)
  • 60th Anniversary Sweepstakes (28:57)
  • Facilities at Iowa 80 (33:51)
  • Future of Iowa 80 (35:51)
  • Booth Activities at MATS (38:55)
  • Expansion Plans (40:03)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Heather DeBaillie  00:12

Since the day we opened in 1964, we have never ever closed. It has been a continuous operation through expansions, remodels, and snowstorms. COVID COVID. You name it. We joke about what we’re like, Well, I don’t. There’s no key. We don’t ever close. We never locked the doors. What are you talking about? Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  00:34

Always open because truckers are always out there. That’s right.

Heather DeBaillie  00:40

And we have to be available when they need us.

Jeremy Kellett  00:43

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. Welcome to the Oakley Podcast. I’m Jeremy Kellett, director of recruiting here at Oakley Trucking and I am bringing you another episode from the truck show, Mid America truck show in Louisville, Kentucky. And I tell you, it’s just a great environment here at Louisville, we’re able to get to a lot of people together and talk to you, talk to a lot of owner operators, talk to a lot of people that have products, I mean, just anything you can think associated with trucking. It’s here at Louisville, Dan is always what we’ve done the last few years of course is we try to record a bunch of podcasts while we’re here. And it’s worked out really well to where we can get a lot of different people in here. A lot of different companies. And you know, I’ve got a company today, the Iowa 80 truckstop. And we’re going to talk to Heather Bailey and Lee Meyer. And they’re going to tell the story about our ad. You know, we know our ad and Walcott is iconic truck stop for anybody that’s a truck driver in the business knows about Iowa ad and we’re going to talk to them a little bit more about the details, the history, you know, and what’s going on now and what’s going on in the future. And, as always, I want to thank you guys for listening to the Oakley podcast, you do a great job. I appreciate the feedback, the comments, you know, subscribing and liking and sharing it with everybody and it goes a long way for what we do here at Oakley, it’s turned out to be a great recruiting and retention tool. And, you know, as always, we try to, I mean, we’re doing this for our owner operators. We want them to be successful, learn more about the trucking industry. So they can, you know, just be as successful as possible. We really appreciate everybody listening.

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Jeremy Kellett  03:38

Let’s get started on this. How are you ladies?

Heather DeBaillie  03:41

work right now? for having us. Yes,

Jeremy Kellett  03:44

Heather is actually a repeat guest. We had you on. I don’t remember what episode it was. But a couple of years ago, you were representing Catskill.

Heather DeBaillie  03:55

I wear many hats wearing

Jeremy Kellett  03:58

which wich after a while I want to get into how that’s you know

Lee Meier  04:02

the saying all in a family type deal.

Jeremy Kellett  04:05

So we also have Lee Meyer, and Lee. Now can you tell us why you probably well,

Heather DeBaillie  04:13

It is probably because she’s now joined the company in the marketing department for iOS at amcat scale. But her real claim to fame is that she’s Bill Moon’s granddaughter. Haha one of y’all

Jeremy Kellett  04:28

know. Well, I’m so glad you Okay, thank you now, which I was doing a little research. So explain to everybody who Bill Moran is.

Heather DeBaillie  04:38

So Bill Moon was our founder of Iowa 80 truckstop. And he actually started out working for Standard Oil, which then became Amoco no BP and his job was to go around and scout locations for these little pumper truck stops that Standard Oil wanted to build. So he had locations located in some different spots. And then he came across this spot. Lolo Walcott, Iowa. The interstate was not complete. It was just a big old farm field. And he said, You know, I think this is going to be an important place for trucking. I think this is going to be a really good spot. Actually, he said, This is going to be the perfect spot.

Jeremy Kellett  05:27

Because the interstate was because he knew that

Heather DeBaillie  05:32

it was going to be coming through interstate 80, which is, you know, we know is now this, you know, the second longest Interstate in the country goes coast to coast. And so he picked out this little spot for Standard Oil. They built a little truck stop. I think we had two diesel puffs, a small little restaurant and a kind of a shop store area. And it opened in 1964. And about a year later, the people that were running it for Standard Oil were like, you know, this just really isn’t our thing. And so, Bill was like, you know, I give it a shot. And then he believed in it. And Standard Oil was like, Yeah, okay, so he and his wife, Carolyn, pretty much sold, mortgaged, hot, whatever, they, you know, they could they move their family, they got some inventory, and they were operating the facility. And fast forward 20 years, Standard Oil says, you know, we don’t want to be in the truckstop business anymore. So 1984 This one was sold at all, we’re going to sell the property, we’re going to sell the building, you know, but he had also managed it through that time and helped expand it a little bit. But then once he and his wife Carolyn were able to purchase that, then their dream could start, you know, becoming a reality.

Jeremy Kellett  07:15

fans didn’t have any more problems, right.

Heather DeBaillie  07:19

So, you know, luckily, they had some, some nice friends. And they knew some bankers who would loan him some money. And

Jeremy Kellett  07:27

don’t, you know, that was a huge risk. To me, you had to have a lot of gumption to be able to do that. And hey, we’re gonna buy this.

Heather DeBaillie  07:36

I mean, they just hung it all out there. And that, I mean, gave it a go. And what was really interesting is, Bill loved trucking. He loved truckers, he loved old trucks. He just loved everything about it. And you can see that because he didn’t, it wasn’t just Iowa at I mean, before he could even buy Iowa at from Standard Oil. He was thinking about other things. He was thinking about what else do truckers need and talking to drivers and saying, What do you want? What do you need to do to make your life easier? And so he started working on truck washes and building a truck wash chain, which is now trucker man. And he started working on, you know, scales and, and full platform scales that could weigh the truck all at once, give them axle weights and a gross weight all in one shot instead of putting those quarters in, you know, those access scales. And so he was constantly thinking and working for the betterment of drivers and their life on the road. And that’s because he wasn’t one right. He was not a driver.

Jeremy Kellett  08:49

He was like he admired he did

Heather DeBaillie  08:53

and he admired their spirit. He admired their fortitude, their hard work, and he knew that we needed them. And he understood the importance of truck drivers and what they meant to the economy to the country and he truly appreciated that. You know,

Jeremy Kellett  09:21

How old do you think he was around that time?

Heather DeBaillie  09:25

Gosh, he would have been in 84 He would have been in his 40s Oh, so fairly young. He would have been in his late 40s.

Jeremy Kellett  09:36

Okay. So he started with the standard old when he was really young then right out of college, right out of college.

Lee Meier  09:46

He was in Korea during the Korean War. And then through the GI bill actually went to college and I believe he got a FiO chemical engineering degree really. I mean, he was really, really smart on Top of being just creative, and we’re gonna find a way and then started working for standard after graduation. So very impressive. Yeah. But you know, not a truck driver, not a businessman, just a man who was innovative and passionate. Yeah, they need to be set up, I could

Jeremy Kellett  10:19

see something they knew something was was gonna be gonna happen later

Heather DeBaillie  10:23

he could. And I mean, we have to give a bunch of credit to his wife, Carolyn Moon, as well, because she was an incredibly smart and talented woman in her own right. She was a mathematician and a computer programmer. And she was the first woman to work in the mathematics department at Boeing aircraft, really. So she was if people have seen that movie, Hidden Figures, that’s what she was doing for Boeing. So

Jeremy Kellett  10:55

we’re not we’re not dealing with just a couple of common people like me, there was a

Heather DeBaillie  11:02

there was a level of intelligence there. Yes, very much. So

Jeremy Kellett  11:06

when you got that level of intelligence,

Heather DeBaillie  11:11

and we are grateful that they found each other and were able to create this wonderful place called Iona ad.

Jeremy Kellett  11:17

Yeah, the ad truckstop is just iconic among, you know, amongst truck drivers. And when you hear about it all the time, and if you hadn’t been there, you got to go, which I’ve never been there. Oh,

Heather DeBaillie  11:30

my gosh, you’ve got to go. You are coming in July. They are coming to the jamboree. So

Jeremy Kellett  11:36

a few years ago, I actually sent some people up there to do that. We did several truck shows that year and some of the guys that worked for me went away, truck stop legs, and you cannot believe you’re not gonna believe it. But I personally did go and haven’t been up there. So I’ve got to get up

Lee Meier  11:52

there this year. This is our personal invitation to you. I appreciate that.

Jeremy Kellett  11:56

I’d like to do it because y’all have a big shoulder. I mean, we talked about that for a minute.

Heather DeBaillie  12:02

You know, the Walcott truckers jamboree started 45 years ago. And, you know, it’s just our way of saying thank you to drivers, and showing our appreciation for the hard work that they do. And, you know, like the truck stop, it started as this teeny, tiny little event, a few hay bales, a couple of trucks from the local dealers, you know, called him up and said, Come out and put them on display. And people sat on hay bales, which we still do, by the way. And it just grew because we listened to drivers. And so what else should we do? What else do you want to do? That’s gonna be fun. So we have a pork chop cookout. We have over 150 exhibitors. We have a Supertruck beauty contest, pet contest, and fireworks concerts. I mean, we just, and it How long does it last? It’s three days. Okay. So July 11, through the 13th this year. And it’s kind of a, you know, 10am to 10pm event. And it’s just a meat trade show, family reunion, truck show parking, and a picnic. I mean, whatever you want to call it, it’s just a fun time. And we hope people that come feel like they’ve just come home. Like they’ve come to visit friends and relax and have a great time and that they feel the love that we have for them. Right. It’s a fun event. It’s free. I mean, I think you got to pay for your fourth job. But other than that, everything’s free. Concerts are free. You know, parking for the King is free. The events are free. It’s just a big thank you party, and just saying that we couldn’t do what we do without drivers. And we know that the country wouldn’t be what it is without drivers delivering all the things and it’s just a big appreciation event.

Jeremy Kellett  14:05

Lee, tell us a little bit. Elaine, you’re the granddaughter of Bill Monroe. So tell us a little bit about you growing up in, you know, in Iowa 80 truckstop. Well,

Lee Meier  14:16

like you said, I grew up there. I think that’s true for my mom and her siblings, too. And I’m actually one of three girls but my first job was actually at the Iowa ad trucking Museum, the summer that I turned 15. So I worked at the register and I cleaned the trucks and I got to learn a lot about the trucking community. You know, I’d always been at the truck stop but I think that was like my first introduction of like, hands off. I’m just, you know, I’m just out there by myself. Not by myself, but you know, learning about the trucks and learning about the people and it’s so funny. Thinking about how it was growing up there because when we had a day off of school or like the babysitter called in sick, something like that might be Parents would bring us to work with them. And we either go hang out with my grandma, my grandpa died in 92. So before I was born, grandma was there every single day until a couple months before she died. So we go hang out with grandma, we’d go to lunch with them. And then they kind of turn us loose. Sometimes this was my favorite part, turning us loose in the museum, which wasn’t actually open to the public, it was just a storage shed with the trucks in it. And, you know, we’d bring a stuffed animal and we play hide and seek and, you know, get in them. So some of the trucks that were original to the museum had names and you know, we take naps in there and play games. And it was, it was just funny. It’s funny how in awe of the trucks in the museum people are, I’m like, Yes. And his name is Oliver. So, you know, they’ve got funny names from when we were little. But anyway, working in the museum was my first job. I actually did an internship with the project and design team. So the building construction team when I was in college, and then came back and worked in recruiting, and now I work for Heather in the marketing department. So I feel like I’ve really seen a lot of it. You know, my sisters worked in the store. My sisters worked in the distribution center, like our warehouse, and in purchasing, so we’ve been all over the place. I feel like we’ve seen a lot of it. It’s been fun.

Jeremy Kellett  16:22

Yeah, I mean, he grew up in it. So you know about it. So you ought to be able to sell it for sure. In the marketing department or your sisters in it, too. They

Lee Meier  16:31

involved in they are not. They are not

Heather DeBaillie  16:34

yet. We’re working on a chance we get.

Lee Meier  16:40

But they still come back, they come back for jamboree. Last year. Actually, it was kind of funny. My younger sister helped us paint lines in the parking lot for the truck show. It’s like, oh, okay, you’ll help me with that. But, I have a cousin that works actually in truck restoration. Building. So he restores our antique trucks. So oh,

Jeremy Kellett  17:01

we have a we have a place with Detroit to

Lee Meier  17:06

do so on top of the museum being open to the public. We also have a truck Restoration Center, where it’s, you know, close to the public, but we’re actually restoring trucks. And so tell me

Jeremy Kellett  17:19

more about this museum. I’ve heard about it but tell me a little bit more our listeners educate them on let me use a you

Lee Meier  17:25

All right? Well, when you come to Walcott in July, we’ll give you a personalized museum. So our museum has gone through several expansions in the last, I don’t know, decade, we opened in 2008. And the museum actually I should back up the museum was actually a lifelong dream of my grandpa. He always wanted to have a museum for antique trucks where people can come and learn about the history of trucking and innovation in the trucking industry that have helped us move along so far. So collect trucks along the way he did and there’s a good story about, I guess, a driver came into the truckstop. One time, you know, way back, way back when they first moved to Walcott and said they’re gonna crush some trucks down by the river and he’s upset a junkyard is gonna crush old trucks. And I guess my grandpa jumped in the truck with him and said, Let’s go down there and save them, look at them. And he ended up, you know, purchasing or taking a couple back. And so we still have the 1919 International in the museum. That was the first truck in the collection. Well, it used to sit in the carport and under my grandparents or my grandparents house and Walcott, and that was in the museum. So unfortunately, he never got to see the museum open. But my grandma did that in his honor. And okay, all of my siblings, all of my cousins have worked in the museum to some degree. Many trucks are in there. Over 100 just about 100,000 square feet. We’ve got over 100 and probably 25 trucks. They all have signage, you can learn a lot about trucking in the history of the country even we’ve got trucking memorabilia, we’ve got antique toy trucks even another fun story, I guess my grandpa’s or My grandma told my grandpa we’re gonna run out of room to put these trucks after a while. Why don’t you start collecting the toys? And I guess he disregarded that and collected both instead. So we have a huge collection of antique toy trucks on display. So buddy L and other brands, and also like signage, other memorabilia, antique gas pumps, what am I missing?

Heather DeBaillie  19:37

We have a big collection of chauffeur badges. So back in the day before drivers had CDL they would have a badge, a numbered badge they would wear that was kind of their chauffeur’s license is what they called it. So we have a pretty extensive collection of those. We have a couple of restored old gas stations inside the museum. So people can look at that. And probably one of the cool things is that if you can’t make it to the museum, but you still kind of want to experience the trucks or learn about some of the trucks, we have an app that anybody can download. And there’s audio, you can listen to some description for the museum on your phone, you can, you know, look at pictures, you can search on various trucks, and just learn a lot about it. But the museum is free. So we’re open. In the winter. We’re open Wednesday through Sunday. Okay. And then once summer hits, so Memorial Day to Labor Day, we’re open seven days a week, where do you find

Jeremy Kellett  20:52

all the money? You got somebody looking for this stuff? The antique stuff,

Heather DeBaillie  20:57

you know, right now, it seems people find us. Because the worst, you know, people are like, we don’t know what to do with this truck. It was my grandfather’s or it was my father’s and we want it to have a good home. And they come to us. I mean, we’ve had a list for a long time of, you know, these would be cool trucks to have. And we kind of checked a lot of that off. And as Lee’s dad says, because he’s the curator of the museum, okay. He says, You know, I have to be careful about what I say I want because usually the next week somebody calls and they found it for me already.

Lee Meier  21:34

I heard you were looking for it. Yeah, yes. But it’s very humbling. Especially being in this position. We do a lot of marketing with the Iowa at the trucking Museum. We’ve got a TikTok and a Facebook and Instagram and things, and we’re posting about them. But, you know, in writing some of these signs and learning about these trucks. It’s humbling how much people want to have their truck in Iowa at trucking museums. Yeah. You know, there’s one truck that we got last year. And actually, it has a sign on it. That’s, you know, the final ride to the Iowa at the trucking museum, you know, and they drove the truck here with that on the truck. And so everyone’s watching this truck be paraded to the museum. That’s pretty neat. Very humbling. So very cool. Well, well, I

Jeremy Kellett  22:23

I mean, you know, me, you know, people are interesting, they think of that and want to be part of it, I want to be part of our lady.

Heather DeBaillie  22:32

And I think it’s because, you know, they understand that, you know, Bill Moon’s love of trucks, and that he was trying to save something. He was trying to preserve trucking history for the next generation. And I think people respect that. And it’s, it’s cool to be part of that. That there’s that mindset, and that the whole family and when I say family, the moon family plus everybody else who considers himself family, you know, the Iowa ad family of 500. Yeah, that we’re all working. We all understand, we understand the goal, we understand, you know, the goal is to make drivers feel at home and make sure that they feel proud of what they do, because we’re proud of what they do. Yes. And we’re proud to serve drivers. And it’s, it’s really an incredible opportunity. And we’re thankful that we’re able to do that. And we hope that that comes through to people. I’m sure it does. And we never, we never quit. We never stop expanding. We never stopped thinking about what new thing could we do? What would make it better for drivers? And so we’re always open to suggestions, you know, send us an email. And if we think we can make it work, and it makes sense. We generally do it. What

Jeremy Kellett  24:01

you mentioned earlier about trachoma at cat scale. And you know how he started those two, right, right. And then now that’s all that’s all one company, where it’s

Heather DeBaillie  24:15

all part of the family of companies. Yes, and all headquartered out of the office and building in Walcott behind the truck just north of the truckstop.

Jeremy Kellett  24:26

So how many trucking plants we’ve got out

Heather DeBaillie  24:30

there so we have eight truck locations, and one

Jeremy Kellett  24:34

of them is North Little Rock, Arkansas,

Heather DeBaillie  24:36

North Little Rock, Arkansas, we have one in Walcott. We have one in Oak Grove, Missouri, Joplin, Missouri, Hebron, Ohio, Indianapolis, Kenly North Carolina, North Carolina is the main

Jeremy Kellett  24:50

purpose of trucking to clean trucks like drugs, right,

Heather DeBaillie  24:54

and it’s hand brushed. So I mean, we have the machine for the rollers that go down On the trailer, but the truck itself, you know the cab and everything is hand brushed. We have a team of truck washers that do it all by hand, scrub the wheels by hand.

Jeremy Kellett  25:11

Do you have to wash trucks? Lee?

Lee Meier  25:13

I honestly think it would be so fun. I wish they blocked me.

Jeremy Kellett  25:16

They’re so big. I don’t know how to get them washed.

Heather DeBaillie  25:19

And usually Yeah, within 15 minutes they’re done. So it’s pretty amazing.

Jeremy Kellett  25:23

Is trucking mad expanding any or any in the future building in

Heather DeBaillie  25:30

the right opportunity arose? But

Jeremy Kellett  25:33

it’s nothing like there’s nothing massively producing six or eight a year, nothing like it this way.

Heather DeBaillie  25:39

I’m not like cat scales.

Jeremy Kellett  25:42

Expansion. So what’s going on with the cat scale? We’re

Heather DeBaillie  25:45

probably going to add about 70 locations. Oh, my goodness. So yeah, we’re just full speed ahead.

Jeremy Kellett  25:54

Is it with that? I mean, we’re dry locations where

Heather DeBaillie  25:58

drivers need us. I mean, it’s all about I mean, your drivers know, it’s all about load, you know, generation, where are those load points at and we got to be as close to that as we possibly can. Because the driver depends on us. You know, they need to have an accurate weight before they go down the road and could possibly get pulled into a state scale and have an issue. So that’s, you know, we work really hard to make sure we are everywhere. We think a driver needs us

Jeremy Kellett  26:24

and mostly kit scales or the area at a truck stop. Yes,

Heather DeBaillie  26:29

I would say 99.9%. And I say that because we do have one standalone location in Davenport, Iowa. Down by there’s a dog food plant and a scrap metal place. That’s downtown Davenport that we do have,

Jeremy Kellett  26:44

We probably use it pretty regularly. Yes,

Heather DeBaillie  26:47

really? Probably do. And you know the way my truck app has made it so easy for drivers. Oh, when I asked for it. Yeah, so tell me about that. Yeah, so they can download the app on their phone and do the whole process right there through their phone. They don’t have to go inside the ticket PDF locked PDF gets emailed to them. They see their weights right there. So they know if they’re good, you know, right on their phone, or if they need to slide an axle they can just pull it off and do it. Pull right back on it automatically recognizes they’re eligible for reweighing it keeps their history and that’s one of the big things is you know, drivers are always like, well, I got to do we’re getting a lot of emails now about I gotta do my taxes. Do you guys happen to have copies of all my receipts? You’re like, and we say you use the way my truck app you can go right in your history and they’re all there and you can download them all and they’re like, Are you kidding me? That’s amazing.

Jeremy Kellett  27:42

That is technology right and that is awesome. Oakley Trucking is a 100% Owner Operator company we specialize in Hopper bottom in dump and pneumatic drivers. We provide the trailer free of charge and you provide the truck. We have a large customer base that reaches the whole United States as well as parts of Canada. The owner operators live anywhere from Texas to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and everywhere in between and we get them home at the weekend. We take it seriously when you join Oakley trucking because we need you to be successful. Oakley offers great benefits and a competitive mileage base. So you know that when your wheels are turning, you’re generating money no matter if you’re loaded or empty. We understand that you want to make a good living and that you make our living. We only take on independent contractors and to be honest with you, we are very particular on who we lease on. You must have a good driving record, good work history and a clean dependable truck. So if you’re interested in Oakley trucking or just wants more information, you can go to Oakley trucking.com. Listen to our weekly podcast, the Oakley podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Tell us about it before we wrap it up too much here. How about the 60th anniversary? Yes,

Heather DeBaillie  28:53

yes. How could we not talk about that? League is this? Right? So this year is the 60th anniversary of Iowa 80 truckstop. Wow. And we’re pretty excited about it. We’re gonna have some extra special things going on at the jamboree this year. And we’re also launching a 60th anniversary sweepstakes on April 1. So drivers be paying attention because if you’re at Iowa ad and you make a purchase, if you’re at any of our truck mats and make a purchase, or if you are and Joplin, Missouri or Kenley North Carolina at truck stops there, you can take that receipt, take a picture of it and upload it to iowa@sweepstakes.com and you’re giving away prizes. We’re giving away over $60,000 in cash and other phrases. So the driver’s grand prize was $50,000 Wow.

Jeremy Kellett  29:55

And how I made it happen all year. What’s the test

Heather DeBaillie  30:00

is happening through the first week, in October. So October 4, so April 1 to October 4, gotcha. Every time you purchase something, scan that, scan that receipt, you know, upload it onto the app, on to ios@sweepstakes.com. They’ll create their own profile, and then they’ll just keep adding to their receipts. And then every receipts and entry, and what

Jeremy Kellett  30:28

There’s another, there’s no drawings until October. Correct. Okay, so that’s why

Heather DeBaillie  30:33

we’re giving away the big grand prize. And then there’s a lot of, we’re also giving away $6,100 IoT gift cards. Oh, that’s so you’re seeing the 60

Lee Meier  30:43

years? 60 $60,000.60?

Heather DeBaillie  30:47

Yeah, well, 60

Jeremy Kellett  30:50

years is a long time to be in business. So that, you know, a lot of people can’t make 60 years, you know, being in business, a lot of companies just can’t go especially you think about what what’s happened the last 60 years, which, you know, I’m 53 you know, all level but you know, it’s a lot has happened, you know, we up and down and gone through a lot and, and here, I will add steel, steel, you know, pumping it out and greeting truck drivers all the time. And welcome all that. I mean, that says a lot about a company.

Heather DeBaillie  31:20

Well, and I’ll tell you, when you think about what’s so amazing when you stop and think about it is we’ve never, ever closed ever. It’s been 24/7 since the day we opened in 1964. We have never ever closed. It has been a continuous operation through expansions, remodels, snowstorms, COVID COVID. You name it. We’ve never, ever been close.

Jeremy Kellett  31:49

So li working. Working through there. You never had to lock up close.


Close the museum. Usually it’s not true.

Heather DeBaillie  32:00

We joke about we’re like, Well, I don’t there’s no key. We don’t ever close. We never locked the doors. What are you talking about? Yeah,

Lee Meier  32:07

pretty good. Always open. So, you know, because truckers are always out there.

Heather DeBaillie  32:13

That’s right. And we have to be available when they need us. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  32:17

I mean, it’s good to have companies like I laid out here to help these truck drivers and help them be successful. I told you at the

Heather DeBaillie  32:26

end, you know, the moon family is incredibly generous to the community, to to, you know, truck driving, you know, sponsoring things and also just reinvesting in the facility and continually trying to make it better. Do we know how big it is? I mean, how many acres that whole place covers 225 acres. Wow. And I would say 80 of those acres are actually developed or under concrete, if you will. 900 truck parking spaces

Jeremy Kellett  33:06

than 100. So you can always find a spot surely out

Heather DeBaillie  33:11

of that. Yes. And you know what we always say we have 900 truck parking spaces but 1200 in a snowstorm. So we’ll fit you in you just don’t worry about it. Will you come on in and we’ll figure it out. Find a place to park that’s right.

Lee Meier  33:23

It was kind of funny. This year. We had a lot of snow up in Iowa and you know people are parking anywhere that you can and I was like, I have never seen it. This is packed. I have seen it during jamboree I have seen it during but I guess I had never driven around the parking lot after a snowstorm and tell me some

Jeremy Kellett  33:40

of the other stuff Lea that a guy can expect or an owner operator can expect to see at any truck stop. What are y’all doing there?

Lee Meier  33:51

Oh my gosh, so many things. So especially on our third floor that’s kind of like our driver hubs. So we actually have a third floor.

Jeremy Kellett  34:00

Yeah, how many followers do you have? Three.

Lee Meier  34:04

So we’ve got a chiropractor, we’ve got a barber shop, we’ve got a laundry center, a driver den, a movie theater, we’ve got 24 Private showers that are really really beautiful, super beautiful. We have a dentist . Yeah. Yeah. And he’s a really good dentist.

Heather DeBaillie  34:25

That’s awesome. And our chiropractor

Lee Meier  34:26

can also do doT physicals. So again, you know what does a driver need? On the road? We’ve got it. We’ve also got a custom vinyl and embroidery shop in our Chrome Shop. We have a huge chrome shop you can get anything you want. At Iowa at we’ve got nine different restaurant options including our Iowa 80 Kitchen. That’s our sit down 300 seat. Restaurant. That’s delicious. I love to eat at the aisle at kitchen. Ben has a great buffet and has a great bit of fried chicken Are the pork chop during jamboree? A Dog of my pet washed? Yes, yep, you can bring your dog and wash him wash.

Heather DeBaillie  35:08

You’re getting your truck washed, okay, and the dog bats right next door to the truck wash. So while your trucks get washed, you can take, you know, your friend and give them a little bath.

Jeremy Kellett  35:19

This is kind of like, I mean, sounds to me like I need a day or two. To see everything.

Heather DeBaillie  35:25

I mean, we have a service center, we have seven Base Service Centers, we have a fuel center that has 16 Different diesel lanes and has two food options inside the fuel center. Just in case you don’t have time to go to the main building, you still can grab something to eat.

Jeremy Kellett  35:40

That’s fantastic. What? What’s the future looking like for Our Lady?


It looks good.

Heather DeBaillie  35:50

I would say, you know, constant improvement. And you know, we still one of the things is we stay close to our customers, we talk to our customers, we say what else? What else do you need? What else do you want? And we try to add that. So there will be more expansions, more changes, staying up with technology, staying up with technology. And just making sure that we provide a well lit, safe, comfortable place for drivers to stop.

Jeremy Kellett  36:27

Are there any technology challenges?

Heather DeBaillie  36:28

Always? I guess that’s it. You knew the answer before you

Jeremy Kellett  36:38

did it hit me actually halfway through a stupid question. But, you know, I can just imagine I was thinking well, truck stops I mean, what kind of technology problems? I mean, I guess. Yeah, I mean,

Heather DeBaillie  36:48

It’s technology. It’s you know, it’s, you know, fuel pumps, keeping those operational, it’s, you know, we have a you know, with our snow and our size of our facility, we have what we call snow command. So in the winter, I mean it rivals any type of thing that you’ll see the DoD have, I mean, we’ve got road graders and all kinds of things to make sure that we keep that lock clear. You know, drivers, we’d rather have drivers parking, off the road, anywhere that can fit on our facility, then than risking, you know, accident or injury or whatever

Jeremy Kellett  37:26

made me think one more stupid question I’ve got is you got 900 parking places. Do you have a shuttle?

Heather DeBaillie  37:33

We do not. Having that is one thing that a few drivers have asked about. And we jokingly show them our exercise walking path map. Say, you know, yeah, that’s good. We just call that a workout for you. So your workouts are done by the time you get to the main building. It’s all good.

Jeremy Kellett  37:54

Well, it’s an impressive, very impressive, great story. You know, it’s good to see people like y’all, and your grandpa doing this for the trucking industry. And you’re and you’re continuing to keep it going. That was very good to have in the trucking world. We all look for Oakleys i Ladies, you know, some other people I’ve talked to here, you know, Bruce Pittsburgh power. I mean, it’s just great to have companies like that, that have the same interest in mind and you know, are passionate about taking care of truck drivers and appreciating what they do. And

Heather DeBaillie  38:28

We had a good time doing it. In a good sense. You can’t have fun at work. I mean, they have fun every day here we are having fun.

Jeremy Kellett  38:37

You do anything with the truck show. I know this is going to play after the truck show is over of course. But there’s always next year and if you’re like us, we kind of you know we’ll be here again next year. Y’all got a booth set up and can’t

Heather DeBaillie  38:49

scale yet. We’re in the south weighing and I imagine we’ll be in the same spot next year. So I’ll do it here. Just educate, educate and help people get the way my truck app is set up. If they don’t scale merchandise we have Yeah, merchandise we’re given away with spin the wheel prizes. You know, saying hello to everybody getting some feedback.

Lee Meier  39:10

We also have our 1938 Kenworth race truck in the booth, which is always something to see. Normally it’s in our in the Iowa at trucking museum, but it’s here and our Catskill race car so Oh,

Jeremy Kellett  39:23

cool. So yeah, you got some similar tractors

Heather DeBaillie  39:28

and weighed right our cat mascot makes appearances every day for photo ops and that’s just fun. Like I said, we’d like to have some fun.

Jeremy Kellett  39:36

That sounds like an interesting booth. I’d like to get over there and check it out myself. Definitely. Well, thank you all for doing this. Thank you for having us. Yeah, I really appreciate it. It’s always a good course the second time we’ve done this Heather and you know it’s just great to see somebody of course like you that’s passionate about it and wants to get it out there and proud to be in the trucking industry. integrate no matter where we all get together, right.

Heather DeBaillie  40:02

Look for some big changes happening at Kenley. 95 and Kenley North Carolina and the Joplin 44 in Joplin, Missouri. So you got some big expansion and remodel plans that are going to get executed real soon there.

Jeremy Kellett  40:17

No details just go on to

Heather DeBaillie  40:21

Come and see us and find out.

Jeremy Kellett  40:24

Do that. Well, good. Well, I appreciate y’all joining me. I appreciate all our listeners out there, tuning into the podcast, and we’re bringing you some good information every week that we can appreciate you and we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.